The findings,presentED earlier this year at The Conference on ReTrovirUses and Opportunistic Infections, came from a Study of 232 Men who have sex with Men (MSM) whose SEXUAL behavior profile put Them at high risk For STIs. Half of the men were given a prescription For doxycycline and told to take two Pills (100mg) within three Days each time they had sex without CONDOMS. The remaining men did not receive the antibiotic regimen; however, all were given CONDOMS and advice on Safer sex. All participants were testED For STIs at regular intervals For several months afterwards.
The use of antibiotics decreased the risk of contracting syphilis and chlamydia; however, it did not Reduce the risk of contracting gonorrhea. THereFore, the drug did not Appear to be equally effective for all bacterial STIs.
Those in the treatment group used a median of 7 Pills per month. Few side effects were reported, and no evidence of risk compensation was observed (meaning that participants taKing the drug did not Appear to enGAGe in riskier SEXUAL behavior).
While promising, much more research is needed before we can begin to widely recommend this strategy as a means of preventing STIs. In particular, we need DAta that consider groups beyond MSM, examine the long-term effects of this treatment, and consider the implications for drug resistance (eg, would this strategy exacerbate the already growing problem of STIs? resistant to antibiotics?).
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Image Credit: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz
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